By Ryan Butler

Newsome High School senior, Bently Easley, knew football could take him to a Division I college program. He never imagined it could take him to France.

Easley, a defensive linemen and D-I prospect, has been selected by invitation only to play for the United States in a game against the France U-19 football team. He gets the opportunity as a part of American Worldwide football, an organization that promotes world-wide learning initiatives to high-achieving students by creating opportunities to play football games against international opponents.

He is one of only 40 high school football players in America to earn the honor to play for Team Stars & Stripes and the first player from Newsome.  Team Stars and Stripes head coach Jim Barnes has also said Easley will have the honor to be a starter for the game.

“It was exciting. When I first heard, I was shocked,” Easley said.  “It was a big opportunity to go to France.  It was very exciting to get a chance to actually go out there. My friends and family were excited for me when I told them. I posted it on facebook and everybody wished me congratulations.”

The game takes place on March 30 in Paris. But before that, he’ll have a chance to travel through the landmarks of France. Team members will see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and the Sacre Couer Basilica in Paris, as well as the Palace of Versailles. The team will also travel to Normandy to see the grounds of the Allied Invasion on D-Day.

“I’m most looking forward to seeing the Eiffel Tower, as well as the sites and museums because I know it’s real nice,” Easley said. Easley will travel to France with his family, including his mother, Donna Easley.

“I’m filled with pride. It’s quite an honor. I’m very excited for him to see everything,” Easley said.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.